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    Can you read the Bible and stay religiously neutral?

    I mean, from what I have read I have found it an interesting read, from a philosophical and literary standpoint. But can you read it and be immeresed in religious idealogy and not really be influenced one way or another?

    If not why not? And if so, are you undergoing some sort of voluntrary indoctrination almost? Same rules apply for any other religious text, I'm just putting into context for myself.

    I'm going to read it now, from cover to cover, as an adult conscious of making my own decisions in regards to religion, and see how it affects me. I don't mean I am going to suddenly "become religious", I don't believe that you can suddenly force yourself to be religious or not.
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    I've read it before, and in fact rejected it more then I did before hand. I tried to read it neutrally, yet still found myself becoming more and more annoyed by its passages.
    If anything, I found myself disliking religion more so...
    Not sure why, just really grated me after reading it.
    Maybe I wasn't as open minded as I should've been.
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    (Original post by DH-Biker)
    I've read it before, and in fact rejected it more then I did before hand. I tried to read it neutrally, yet still found myself becoming more and more annoyed by its passages.
    If anything, I found myself disliking religion more so...
    Not sure why, just really grated me after reading it.
    Maybe I wasn't as open minded as I should've been.
    I had pretty much the same experience as you. Atheism + the Bible = :facepalm2:
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    (Original post by Drunk Punx)
    I had pretty much the same experience as you. Atheism + the Bible = :facepalm2:
    Yeah, agreed. I just can't take it with openness anymore, really...
    Evolution, the Big Bang... Everything you see on Channels like Discovery Science just makes so much more sense...
    I've read the Bible twice... Once as Philosophy work and again just to try and read it with an open mind... Both times I got really quite angry at myself for even reading the cover...
    Meh, maybe I'm just really anti-religious... Probably too much for my own good.
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    Of course you can. I'm a Christian and have read most of the Qur'an - I say most because I eventually couldn't take the boredom and repetitiveness to be honest

    Not to tread on anyone's toes, there are many parts of the Bible that are ridiculously boring and seem somewhat irrelevant, just my two pennies that's all.
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    Maybe today's audience doesn't buy the whole "true story" tagline but so what? It's still a great book.

    People never gave the Cohen brothers this much stick when they pulled the same trick with Fargo
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    No, you'll need a religious upbringing combined with a healthy dose of Bible bashing to actually begin believing the crap it says. Trust me, I've experienced it. If you just read it on it's own, though, you're more likely to find yourself being more critical of Christianity, because there's an awful lot of terrible stuff in there (God destroying whole cities) and lots of rules that Christians ignore (technically, they shouldn't be allowed to eat bacon or shellfish). Say what you like about Muslims, but at least they follow what's in their religious text to the letter! It is quite a good read, though.
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    Youve got to believe it it's the WORD of GOD (despite the fact most of it was written by groups of people decades after jesus died) .

    Everything in its true (apart from the bits shown to be ridiculously unlikely/obviously contradictory, those are just metaphors).

    If you dont follow its rules youve sinned and will go to hell (not including all the ones we dont bother with at the moment)
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    Reading the bible from cover to cover would probably not change your views at all. You would need to immerse yourself in all things "Christian" e.g. going to church, bible studies, being around Christians etc.
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    (Original post by Addzter)
    No, you'll need a religious upbringing combined with a healthy dose of Bible bashing to actually begin believing the crap it says. Trust me, I've experienced it. If you just read it on it's own, though, you're more likely to find yourself being more critical of Christianity, because there's an awful lot of terrible stuff in there (God destroying whole cities) and lots of rules that Christians ignore (technically, they shouldn't be allowed to eat bacon or shellfish). Say what you like about Muslims, but at least they follow what's in their religious text to the letter! It is quite a good read, though.
    I think that's being a little harsh. Passages from any religious text can seem stupid and ridiculous, we all know that. If you have indeed read the Bible you would know that in Acts 10 these 'unclean' foods are said to be fine to eat which is where the Jewish faith differs etc etc. Old testament/New testament.
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    I'm not going to answer this from any other point of view other than from what the Bible itself says on these matters

    (Original post by I'mNewHere)
    Youve got to believe it it's the WORD of GOD (despite the fact most of it was written by groups of people decades after jesus died) .
    Why does it matter than some was written after Jesus died? The Bible itself says through out that the Holy Spirit (which is God) is with believers and guides then and is considered to help them, possibly including what is written.


    Everything in its true (apart from the bits shown to be ridiculously unlikely/obviously contradictory, those are just metaphors).
    The Bible isn't completely a narrative history. The bible tells us this itself by the structure and language choices used. Narrative histories are not set out like poems or songs or even use repeated word choices.


    If you dont follow its rules youve sinned and will go to hell (not including all the ones we dont bother with at the moment)
    Not true at all. This last statement shows a complete lack of understanding of what the Bible actually says.

    1) Following the rules does not get you to heaven.
    2) No one can ever possibly expect to follow all the 'rules' - in fact the only person. the Bible claims did was Jesus himself.
    3) Breaking the rules does not mean you will go to hell.


    I'll leave you to think about what the Bible actually says on all this, but it most certainly, 100% is not what you said in your last point....in fact what you said is a common misconception amongst many people, both non-Christians and indeed some people who claim to be Christians too
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    (Original post by Wookie42)
    I think that's being a little harsh. Passages from any religious text can seem stupid and ridiculous, we all know that. If you have indeed read the Bible you would know that in Acts 10 these 'unclean' foods are said to be fine to eat which is where the Jewish faith differs etc etc. Old testament/New testament.
    Yeah, but didn't Jesus - so, God - say that they're unclean, and then someone else said they were clean (I can't remember who, but it wasn't Jesus). Interesting how Bible passages are manipulated in favour of good things like nommy food, but not in favour of less desirable things like women priests.
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    (Original post by Addzter)
    Yeah, but didn't Jesus - so, God - say that they're unclean, and then someone else said they were clean (I can't remember who, but it wasn't Jesus). Interesting how Bible passages are manipulated in favour of good things like nommy food, but not in favour of less desirable things like women priests.
    Jesus actually said is claimed to have said no foods are unclear:

    Mark 7:14-23

    Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”

    After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

    He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”




    Luke also appears to be saying something similar in his writings about Peter in Acts 10:

    About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

    “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

    The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

    This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.



    I think it can be debated that perhaps this may not mean all things are clean and indeed, I believe there is something somewhere saying perhaps that blood should not be eaten. However, there is one thing clear from these passages and it's that the Bible is telling us there's something most important than bothering about eating what is clean or unclean. It's saying that in the end, eating clean foods will not get you to heaven as it's not by your actions which you are saved. It's through something else that you can be saved: Jesus and Jesus alone.
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    (Original post by RK)
    I'm not going to answer this from any other point of view other than from what the Bible itself says on these matters


    Why does it matter than some was written after Jesus died? The Bible itself says through out that the Holy Spirit (which is God) is with believers and guides then and is considered to help them, possibly including what is written.


    The Bible isn't completely a narrative history. The bible tells us this itself by the structure and language choices used. Narrative histories are not set out like poems or songs or even use repeated word choices.



    Not true at all. This last statement shows a complete lack of understanding of what the Bible actually says.

    1) Following the rules does not get you to heaven.
    2) No one can ever possibly expect to follow all the 'rules' - in fact the only person. the Bible claims did was Jesus himself.
    3) Breaking the rules does not mean you will go to hell.


    I'll leave you to think about what the Bible actually says on all this, but it most certainly, 100% is not what you said in your last point....in fact what you said is a common misconception amongst many people, both non-Christians and indeed some people who claim to be Christians too
    Do you believe you can be a good Christian whilst also actively having gay sex? Serious question that I'm interested in getting Christians' answers to.
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    (Original post by RK)
    Jesus actually said is claimed to have said no foods are unclear:

    Mark 7:14-23

    Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”

    After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

    He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
    Interesting. I must have been mistaken on this one.
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    i've read most of it and found it more interesting than Hume's Treatise, from both a philosophical and literary standpoint, of course
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    Read it with an open mind (which may be hard after reading threads like this on TSR I must say). It's beautiful.

    (Original post by Wookie42)
    Of course you can. I'm a Christian and have read most of the Qur'an - I say most because I eventually couldn't take the boredom and repetitiveness to be honest

    Not to tread on anyone's toes, there are many parts of the Bible that are ridiculously boring and seem somewhat irrelevant, just my two pennies that's all.
    In its original text?

    Because I've tried hard, and I'm yet to find one translation into English which even makes competitive sense.
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    On sunday i was at church and listening to the teaching of the bible and stuff and I have grown up in a strong christian home for many years and I have read from Matthew to timothy, the whole of genesis and Esther. To be honest it doesn't make sense to know how these were written. They were written by disciples of Jesus or most of it were according to christians. However when people write stories, don't they exaggerate and stuff.

    Reading the bible has made me think otherwise, I just don't know if I can believe it or not.
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    I enjoy the old testament. Very good use of metaphors.
 
 
 
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